Thursday, March 7, 2013

DIY Printed Leggings for Your Tot


There are a bazillion tutorials like these floating around the web, here's one more. I don't recall the first place I saw these, most likely on Pinterest no doubt. Seriously I think leggings are the best thing in the world, especially for babes. I realized super quick how much I hate putting stiff pants on my baby. I don't even buy jeans anymore cause I know I won't put them on him. Now, I searched high and low for leggings. The best leggings I found (and for the best price) were at H&M. They have every size and every color you can imagine and they are 3 for $12. You can't beat that. I also found them at Target for 5 dollars each but they only had a couple colors and the quality wasn't as good. I bought a couple pairs at the Baby Gap Outlet as well for 6 bucks each. So yes, H&M definitely wins! Enough with this, here's the nitty gritty... (scroll down to the bottom for a complete materials list and step by step instructions).






First find images online that you'd like to use for your stencil. The simpler the shape the better, because you're going to have to x-acto that beast (the antlers were a killer, these were inspired by the cute leggings we purchased from carlymegan.). Print them out on plain white paper (don't use cardstock, too thick, I tried). Tape your sheet of images to a blank stencil sheet. Then, using your x-acto knife slowly cut along the shape. 


Once you have your shapes cut out, cut around each individual shape for the stencils. Leave a good amount of room around the shape (about 1.5 inches or so) because when you paint, you want extra room on the stencil so you don't miss and splatter all over the leggings.


Then you'll need to make some inserts for the pants so the paint doesn't bleed through, plus it makes it easier to work with when the fabric isn't moving. I just took one of the pair of pants and traced each leg on a cereal box then cut them out and inserted them into each leg.



 Make sure your leggings have been washed and dried first. You'll want to figure out how you want the pattern laid out. I used the extra cut outs from the stencil and paper to map out how I wanted the shapes to lay on the leggings. I did kind of a staggering pattern that turned out well for me. Now it's time to start paintin'. Make sure the stencil is firmly pressed down onto the legging and start slowly painting. I did a dabbing motion opposed to a stroking motion, it seemed to get the paint on quicker and better without leaking underneath the stencil. Once you are finished with the one side, let it dry completely (30 mins or so). Flip them over and do the other side. Once you're finished with that side let the leggings sit and dry for 4 hours.


After they've sat for 4 hours or so, take out the inserts. Now you'll need to get your iron out and use the steam to set the paint. Set the iron setting to steam and hold the iron about a half inch above the fabric and hold there for just a few seconds (4-7 seconds roughly, for my iron anyway) until the paint slightly raises. You don't want to steam it for too long otherwise it starts to get bubbly and ugly. Let the leggings sit for just a bit longer to cool off then they're ready to rock. Wait 72 hours before washing them and when washing the leggings, turn them inside out and do not tumble dry. (These last few steps are on the back of the Tulip Soft Paint bottle).



 It seems like there are a lot of daunting steps but once you get going it's really not bad. I knocked out 6 or 7 pairs of leggings in a day (including drying time). It's really a lot of fun and I love pairing the leggings with fun T-shirts for my boy. These would also make awesome shower gifts, I bought a few pairs, different sizes and colors so I can have some on hand to make when I need a gift. Good luck, I hope your leggings turn out spectacular! 


Materials
  • Leggings
  • Fabric paint (I used Tulip Matte Soft fabric paint)
  • foam brushes (I bought the square ones but I bet the round, stamp-like one would be better)
  • stencil blanks
  • foam sheets (I didn't end up using these but you can make stamps instead of stencils if you'd prefer)
  • x-acto knife
  • scissors
  • images printed out (or drawn)
  • Cardboard box or cereal box
  • iron


Here's what you do
  1. First find images online that you'd like to use for your stencil. The simpler the shape the better, because you're going to have to x-acto that beast (the antlers were a killer). Print them out on plain white paper (don't use cardstock, too thick, I tried).
  2. Tape your sheet of images to a blank stencil sheet. Then, using your x-acto knife slowly cut along the shape. 
  3. Once you have your shapes cut out, cut around each individual shape for the stencils. Leave a good amount of room around the shape (about 1.5 inches or so) because when you paint, you want extra room on the stencil so you don't miss and splatter all over the leggings.
  4. Then you'll need to make some inserts for the pants so the paint doesn't bleed through, plus it makes it easier to work with when the fabric isn't moving. I just took one of the pair of pants and traced each leg on a cereal box then cut them out and inserted them into each leg.
  5.  Make sure your leggings have been washed and dried first. You'll want to figure out how you want the pattern laid out. I used the extra cut outs from the stencil and paper to map out how I wanted the shapes to lay on the leggings. I did kind of a staggering pattern that turned out well for me. 
  6. Now it's time to start paintin'. Make sure the stencil is firmly pressed down onto the legging and start slowly painting. I did a dabbing motion opposed to a stroking motion, it seemed to get the paint on quicker and better without leaking underneath the stencil. 
  7. Once you are finished with the one side, let it dry completely (30 mins or so). Flip them over and do the other side. Once you're finished with that side let the leggings sit and dry for 4 hours. 
  8. After they've sat for 4 hours or so, take out the inserts. Now you'll need to get your iron out and use the steam to set the paint. Set the iron setting to steam and hold the iron about a half inch above the fabric and hold there for just a few seconds (4-7 seconds roughly, for my iron anyway) until the paint slightly raises. You don't want to steam it for too long otherwise it starts to get bubbly and ugly. 
  9. Let the leggings sit for just a bit longer to cool off then they're ready to rock. Wait 72 hours before washing them and when washing the leggings, turn them inside out and do not tumble dry. (These last few steps are on the back of the Tulip Soft Paint bottle).

6 comments:

  1. I made the arrow ones for matthew last month!! I love them!!

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  2. Great Read, I have stumbled upon your blog. I like your thought process and would love such Indian tradition collections such as Trendy Printed Leggings. Keep it up!

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  3. Now those are some cute leggings! Where did you get those from?
    -Jean

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  4. Wow this is the best tutorial iv'e seen so far. Off to AC Moore I go.

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  5. CUTE CUTE CUTE. It looked kind of complicated until you broke it down and I think I might actually be able to handle this..! Yay!

    xo Emily @ Curator of Cute

    ReplyDelete